Thoughts On: A Quiet Place - Tension > Drama

17/04/2018

A Quiet Place - Tension > Drama

Quick Thoughts: A Quiet Place (2018)

A family live in silent terror in a world full of monsters who kill anything that makes a sound.


A Quiet Place presents a pretty much perfect premise for a horror film: if you make a noise, there are creatures that will come and kill you. This is the scene from every horror movie in which a young girl hides in a closet with her hand over her mouth as the killer stalks outside stretched over about 90 minutes - and it works brilliantly. For how simple and full of potential this premise is, you're left wondering why we haven't seen a tonne of movies exactly like this before. When you watch this film, however, all becomes clear: to stretch the premise into a film requires a lot of well-contrived conflict.

In no way is A Quiet Place a bad movie; the performances are excellent, the direction is strong and the writing goes beyond what you think it would. Nonetheless, I have to say that the Hollywood-isms of this movie do restrict it quite a bit. In such, the script is just a bit too tight, focusing on structure, on plants, pay offs and visual exposition, to a degree that is sometimes unnecessary and in a manner that takes us away from the drama between characters. What's more, a good handful of jump scares could and should have been omitted. This is then one of the rare films which you wouldn't just like to be 10 or 20 minutes longer, but can easily argue a reason for it needing more meat. The reason in my view is simple: drama.

What the script does so well here is provide a set of defined characters in a very difficult situation that you immediately understand the dangers of and the complications in. To delve into light spoilers, A Quiet Place's core subtextual drama is based upon the loss of the youngest family member in the opening of the film. The young boy's deaf older sister blames herself, as does the mother and as does the father. There emerges a strong divide between the girl and her father because of this; she feels she is hated (when she is not). Alas, the bulk of the film is situated in a time later on when the mother is again carrying a baby, and is far into her pregnancy. This raises many dramatic conflicts under one key question: Is this a world worth bringing a child into?

I would hate to see this question brought to the forefront of the film, but it certainly doesn't play a big enough role; this is too much about atmospheric tension and not subtextual drama. And, in turn, the writers lose sight of their themes and fail to relate it to character arcs all that well. It would be by spending less time making this a Hollywood genre film and by spending more time on character and theme - working more on internal conflict as opposed to physical conflicts - that A Quiet Place would become much more than the solid horror film it is. As is there is a strong initial build of characters within the family and a controlled release of conflict between them that, in the end, gives way to a cack-handed 'girls can kick ass' statement that could have been far more mature and complex with better focus. So, having seen a lot of potential lying within A Quiet Place, I have to say the film let me down just a little bit. Nonetheless, this is respectable entertainment. Worth the watch.






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1 comment:

Megashare9 Movies said...

123movies to - This was a solid film let down by a plot that starts out great but just gets ridiculous as the film goes on I wont spoil it but everything just escalates to a comical level and there are massive plot holes that are a bit infuriating if you think about to hard, but the film is well shot, the creature design is really cool. My enjoyment was greatly enhanced by the actual theater going experience I saw this film opening weekend in a pack theater and everyone was trying very hard to be quite. I would recommend it if you're a horror/thriller fan just want to get spooked for a bit but, don't go into it expecting a masterpiece like the reviews are making it out to be as you will be disappointment in my opinion.
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